Conversations with Friends

A Novel
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (851 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century

Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick's flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances' friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi.

Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances' intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

Written with gemlike precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth and the messy edges of female friendship.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Readers who enjoyed Belinda McKeon's Tender and Caitriona Lally's Eggshells will enjoy this exceptional debut." ( Library Journal )
"[Sally] Rooney captures the mood and voice of contemporary women and their interpersonal connections and concerns without being remotely predictable.... A clever and current book about a complicated woman and her romantic relationships." ( Kirkus)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting point of view; glad I listened!

From my 60-year old vantage point, I found this book a stimulating exploration of a world outside my own. Heard an interview with the author on The New Yorker podcast, and the book was as interesting as she is.

20 people found this helpful

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4.30 stars

I downloaded this one because I recently listened to and enjoyed Normal People, Sally Rooney’s most recent novel. Rooney has a distinct writing style, which is descriptive and insightful. If you like one of her books you’re surely to like her other. But, You have to like character driven narratives. That doesn’t mean the plot isn’t interesting. It is. The narrator is also really good. I’m impressed by this lady’s writing.

Overall rating: 4.30 stars

9 people found this helpful

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Unlikeable protagonist, weak plot

I wanted to like this book. The writing is articulate and fluid on the small scale. But I just could not care less about the main character, nor did the author give me any motivation to continue listening once she'd introduced the setting and the milieu. I totally lost interest--and began listening to "Milkman" by Anna Hunt, also about a young Irishwoman (different era, VERY different) which is the polar opposite. Milkman, go listen to it now!

6 people found this helpful

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cringe worthy in the best way possible

Do you like the office? Do you like romantic comedies? Than this novel is for you! Full of hilarious quips and compelling thoughts, you will be blown away by the story telling of Sally Rooney.

4 people found this helpful

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like Mahler or Faure, all mood and not much plot.

Like the composers who wash us over with mood, Rooney packs intention, dialogue, nonverbal tells and contrary emotions into her sentences. Poetic in economy of disparate feelings, she contains more of what is being felt, reacted to, and verbally unsaid. "How does she do that?" I found myself thinking often. If Austen and Mozart gave us the human comedy, Rooney gives it to us times 10.

4 people found this helpful

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Stuck inside a 21-year-old's head--not much fun

Any additional comments?

I really struggled with my basic dislike of the main character, almost gave up on the book halfway through, but forced myself to listen to the end. There were some good moments in the book, the author has a great eye for details, uses language well, but oh my goodness, her level of micro-detailed self-involvement and fascination with her own interior process grows old very quickly, and becomes, for this reader anyway, claustrophobic to the point of near asphyxiation. I was so glad when the book ended.

21 people found this helpful

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God damn

This was very easily my favorite book of the past 12 months. She just nails the details of specific feelings. Highly relatable as a 20 something.

3 people found this helpful

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Unlikable main character, nothing really happened

I found the main character too annoying to care what happened to her & couldn’t understand her appeal to Nick, or Bobbi, or any of the other characters. The narrator was great but I didn’t feel like anything really happened in this story. Anticlimactic and not really worth the purchase.

2 people found this helpful

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HORRIBLE

Oh so boring and pretentious. First book ever I could not finish! Don’t waste your time....

2 people found this helpful

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a reminder of what it is to be young

This story is a poignant reminder of what it is to be young and full of ideals but with limited experience of real life. As young people we believe we are impervious to the painful consequences of the choices we make and yet are ill-equipped to handle such pain. Rooney's novel depicts this youthful conundrum in sharply written, almost poetic prose. I was expecting lots of eye rolling at the escapades of two undergrads. Instead I found myself reflecting on my own youth, the long-faded ideals I held, and the many bittersweet mistakes I made. Beautifully read too.

1 person found this helpful